mosquito lagoon redfish fishing guide, captain tom van horn

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April 19, 2014

Complements of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka, FL

Largemouth Bass

Stormy Day Bass on a Pop Roller Plug

Events and Seminars

Saturday, April 26th, 2014 ~ 5th Annual Coastal Angler Magazine
Boating & Fishing Expo at Boaters Exchange in Rockledge, Florida. The event features a Boat Show, Flea Market, Featured Speakers, Artists and Crafts, Demos, Door Prizes, Boater Education, Kid Zone, Music & Much More. For more details contact Nick Raguso, Boaters Exchange - Marketing Specialist (321)638-0090 o (321)638-0230 f

Saturday, May 17, 2014 ~ Volunteers needed for the City of Casselberry's Hook Kids on Fishing Day. The event will be held at Secret Lake Park from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact me if you are interested in helping at mosquitocoast@cfl.rr.com.

This Week's Fishing Report

As you can tell by this week's selection of photos, the winds of spring once again kept me off of the open waters of the lagoons and the ocean. For most of the week, windy and stormy weather delivered us with challenging weather conditions causing me to postpone all three charters I had booked for near-shore ocean fishing. As is often the case in this situation there is always Plan "B", which is fishing in the protected freshwater confides of the St Johns River.

My week started out on Saturday with a very successful Hook Kids on Fishing Program conducted by the Anglers for Conservation Orlando Chapter at the exclusive Lake X in St Cloud Florida. The event was held in conjunction with the Kids Fishing Xtravaganxa organized by the Osceola County Sheriff's Department and the Kenneth Kirchman Foundation where 88 kids and their parents were introduced to fishing and each child received a new fishing rod provided by the Fish Florida Foundation after completing seven learning stations.

Largemouth Bass

Larry Carter's Windy Day Largemouth

On Monday, my clients and I agreed to postpone a scheduled near-shore cobia charter due to high seas and cloudy skies, and they were not interested in fishing in the St Johns, so I hitched up Three Quarter Time and call my good friend Larry Carter and we opted to do some freshwater cobia (catfish) fishing instead. As the water levels of the river rise due to spring rains, the large catfish move out of the big lakes into the swifter currents on the river to spawn.

Catfish

Captain Tom's St Johns River 28-pound Catfish

Later in the week I ran into the same situation with the weather and instead hit the St Johns again only this time with my good friend Captain John Kumiski whose also had a charter cancelation. With thunderstorms approaching from the west we fished the St Johns at first light and together we caught about ten bass each and we were off of the water by 10 a.m just before the squally weather hit.

Largemouth Bass

Captain John's Stormy Day Largemouth on Fly

Lastly, I would like to wish everyone a happy Easter, and encourage each of you to spend some with your family in the outdoors.

Largemouth Bass

Captain Tom's Spring Largemouth caught on a High Roller Top-water Plug

I don't know about you, but that's a great way to enjoy Spring, so get out and enjoy it for yourself before the heat of summer arrives.

Visit www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Fishing Forecast

April, 2014

Complements of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka, FL

Redfish

Whitney's IRL Redfish

April's Events

Saturday, April 5, 2014 - Come join us at Mosquito Creek Outdoors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Mosquito Creek's Spring Fishing Event and Boat Show. The event features BYOB, (bring your our boat), if it floats, bring it! Anglers who display their boats will be entered to win Mosquito creek gift certificates and prizes. The event also features two Hook kids on Fishing Programs where 200 kids will receive a new fishing rod after completing the seminar and volunteers are needed for Hook Kids on Fishing Program held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mosquito Creek Outdoors,170 South Washington Ave., Apopka, Florida 32703.

Saturday, April 12, 2014 - Volunteers needed for Hook Kids on Fishing Program held in conjunction with the Kids Fishing Xtravaganza at Lake X in support of the Osceola Sheriff's Youth Adventure Camp.

April's Fishing Outlook

Reflecting back on my past fishing forecast for April, I can't help but get excited about the many different angling prospects spring delivers to the Indian River Coast of Florida. I'm grateful for the opportunity to live, breath, and fish on these waters, and if March has been a prelude to what we can expect in April, set the hook!

cobia

Mark Blyth's Spring Cobia

Some highlights for fishing on Florida's east central coast during the spring are: the weather is still cool and enjoyable, the waters warming up and the fish begin to shift into their pre-spawning feeding mood. Some examples of this behavior are the cobia moving north up the Atlantic coast, and the spotted sea trout transitioning into their traditional spawning areas on the inshore flats. Like many saltwater species, the cobia and sea trout spawn in aggregations or groups, not on beds. In the case of the cobia their traditional spawning areas are off of the central east coast of the US, and in the northern Gulf of Mexico. As the fish migrate north, they burn energy and feed heavily along the way, hence the cobia run we experience each spring.

On the flats, the smaller male sea trout move up into the shallows first, and then call the females in to spawn by drumming loudly just after dusk when the conditions are right, usually on the first new moon or full moon in April, and then again on the new and full moons throughout the summer. This year our water temperatures offshore are still cold, so the cobia run has yet to materialize, so expect a quick flush of brown clowns once the conditions are right.

kingfish

Alex and Blaine Compare Kingfish

As we move in near-shore, tripletail should become more dependable, and look for late season cobia as well. The cobia run thus far has been slow; with bait pods (Atlantic menhaden or pogies) arriving late this year. As the bait pod move in, look for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, redfish, giant jack crevalle, sharks, and smoker kings. Concentrate your efforts in areas of bait pods. When you see areas of bait balled up and pushed to the surface, there is a high probability that feeding gamefish are pressuring the bait from below.

In the inlets, look for good numbers of flounder, sheepshead and black drum around structure such as jetties and docks, and Spanish mackerel, blues, and large jacks in open water. Also look for the nighttime snook and tarpon action to heat up in the Sebastian Inlet.

seatrout

Bob Reed's Hefty Sea Trout

On the lagoon flats, fish the early morning and late evening with your favorite top water plugs for extreme trout and redfish action, and soft plastics and jigs in deeper water, 2 to 3 feet after the midday sun settles in. Remember, April is one of the months when larger sea trout are egg laden for the spawn, so it's very important to handle and release the larger females with great care. If you are looking for snook and tarpon action inside, the Sebastian River will be the place to go.

bass

Paul Towne's St John's River Largemouths

Last but not least, freshwater largemouth and striped bass action has been and will remain hot on the St Johns River. Look for schooling bass at first light feeding on pilchards from the Osteen Bridge to Lake Harney. My favorite locations are in the river bends near the power lines at Lemmon Bluff and at confluences of Lake Harney and the river. A good way to locate these schooling fish is to look for white pelicans and other wading birds congregating along the shore. When in the feeding mode, these fish will take most swim plugs, and small live shiners. Also, as the river rises and the velocity increases, the larger spawning blue and channel catfish (freshwater cobia) move out of the big lakes into the river to spawn.

catfish

Mike Murray with a big St. Johns River Catfish

All in all, there's some great spring catching in Central Florida, so don't miss the boat and let's go fishing.


Captain Tom Van Horn